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View of VTU/Lightwave Pro Cancelling

[Harv Laser, longtime contributor and supporter of Video Toaster User
magazine, offers his interpretation of the events leading up to the
cancellation of VTU and Lightwave Pro.  Harv's view is biased, of course,
but still valid.  Taken from comp.sys.amiga.misc.  -Jason]

: Has anyone heard any information about the demise of Video Toaster
: User magizine.  I had recently renewed but haven't gotten a single
: letter explaining their actions and how I will get a refund.  Anyone
: with info on this please post it to this news group since I check the 
: misc group out 3 or 4x a week.

: P.S. I'd like to hear from other Amiga/Toaster users about this sad situation.
: Will there be a independent publication started to fill the void created
: by the loss of VTU????

This has been detailed in comp.graphics.apps.lightwave and uh..  the
toaster newsgroup too (can't remember its correct name but if you search
your .newsrc for "toaster" you'll find it).

Here's what happened:

In late Summer '96, Miller Freeman Inc., a huge multi-national monster,
bought out AMG Media (formerly Avid Media Group), who published VTU,
LIGHTWAVEPRO, a couple other minor mags, and who put on the Video Toaster
User Expo each year.

The people at AMG's offices in Sunnyvale were either let go or were merged
into MFI's operation in San Francisco.

Three issues of VTU and LWP were released with MFI's name on the masthead.

Then, for reasons I will never undestand, MFI decided to stop all
publishing of the two magazines and instead, roll their content into two
other magazines they own, 3D Design, and DV (Digital Video) as twice-a-year
"inserts." (Their press release promises that this will somehow deliver
timely news to LW/Toaster owners.  How you get timely news but twice a year
is a paradox I will leave to the mystics to unravel).

Roughly at the same time this was going on, the Portal Online System was
being shut down by its owners.  AMG's Web site was on Portal's Web Server
and I was its Webmeister.  I first tried to get AMG to approve my moving
the site to another provider, but then AMG got sold.  Then I tried to get
Jim Plant, (do I have to explain who he is?) to get MFI to let me continue
doing the VTU/LWP web site on another service (it brought me a few hundred
bucks income each month) and he said he would try, but then came back and
said sorry but MFI has decided to take the web site in house.

So, currently, at http://www.portal.com/~amg is the last update to the AMG
web site that I did many months ago.  That site will vanish any day. 
Portal's already stopped email forwarding and the user/commercial web sites
it hosted will too soon disappear.

MFI's own site is at www.mfi.com and DV is at www.dv.com. 

The third annual Video Toaster User expo was held the first week of
November, 1996, at the old same place, the Hilton Hotel at Universal City.
I went to the show and I wrote it up for Amiga Computing and my short
article should appear in that magazine's January 1997 issue (which may
already be out in the UK, or not..  I dunno).

Now back to your subscriptions - MFI issued a press release a while back
saying that they would offer VTU and LWP subscribers either refunds for the
balance unshipped, or conversion to DV and 3DDesign mags for remaining
issues.  Subscribers were supposed to have been notified.  What can I say?
I have onthing to do with any of this..  I was just the AMG Webmeister.

Go visit www.dv.com and (as of last week anyway) there was a question and
answer link having to do with this buyout and shutdown and so on which
addressed subscribers' remaining issues. 

Meanwhile, NewTek has apparently linked up with a company called Advanstar
(I think) and a new magazine called "Newtekniques" is supposed to start
publishing early in '97, edited by Joe Tracy, who was VTU's last editor
(after Tom Patrick McCauliffe who left the magazine earlier in '96).  Joe
is a frequent poster in the LW newsgroup so sniff arond there too or use
altavista or dejanews to search usenet for postings by "joe tracy".  Also,
Manny Coates, who has a company that publishes a product called
"Lightspeed" (a magazine on tape), told me at the VTU expo last month that
he was planning a Lightwave/Toaster print magazine too, and that he would
try to send me a mockup of the first cover in the mail to get into my Amiga
Computing article, but that was over six weeks ago and I have seen nada
from him.

So that's the situation as I see it.  I think I got most if not all the
facts straight :)

To summarize:

- the AMG web site is frozen and will soon vanish and I no longer have
any control over it nor does anyone else.
- VTU and LWPro are gone as monthlies and will be rolled into 
DV and 3DDesign mags also owned by MFI.
- Advanstar with Newtek will publish Newtekniques edited by Joe
Tracy, former Ed. of VTU
- Manual Coates' company promises its own LW/Toaster magazine
- VTU Expos for the future, no idea. They didn't return my calls.
- Miller Freeman Inc. sucks. 

Harv
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